Ryan S. Baker

Dr. Baker researches how students use and learn from educational games, intelligent tutors, and other kinds of educational software. Drawing on the fields of educational data mining, learning analytics, and human–computer interaction, he develops methods for mining the data that come out of the interactions between students and educational software. He then uses this information to improve our understanding of how students respond to educational software, and how these responses influence their learning..

Prior to joining Penn GSE, Dr. Baker was an associate professor in the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. While at Teachers College, he taught the “Big Data and Education” MOOC twice, with total enrollment of more than 50,000 students. He has served as founding president of the International Educational Data Mining Society, where he currently serves on the board of directors. He has been co-author on nine award-winning papers. He serves as co-lead of the Big Data in Education spoke of the NSF Northeast Big Data Hub.

In recent years, Dr. Baker and his colleagues have developed automated detectors that make inferences in real-time about students' affect and motivational and meta-cognitive behaviors, using data from students' actions within educational software (without using any sensor, video, or audio data). Areas of focus include gaming the system, off-task behavior, carelessness, "WTF behavior," boredom, frustration, engaged concentration, and appropriate use of help and feedback. They use these models to make basic discoveries about human learning and learners. Many of these models are developed using data collected through the Baker Rodrigo Ocumpaugh Monitoring Protocol (BROMP)—an electronic coding procedure developed by Baker and Ma. Mercedes R. Roderio—as well as the HART Android app.